Hostages transferred onto ship

A Danish shipping company chief has accused the Danish family who were kidnapped last week of sailing ‘right into the pirates’ arms’.

Jan Quist and Birgit Marie Johansen were sailing in the Arabian Sea last Thursday with their sons Rune and Hjalte and their daughter Naja and two other adults on their 43ft yacht, ING, when they were captured by Somalian pirates two days after four American sailors were murdered in the area.

And Per Gullestrup, head of Danish shipowner Clipper, said it was ‘totally insane’ for a yacht to sail alone into waters where large commercial ships often travel in convoys and with armed guards.

‘They sailed right into the pirates’ arms,’ he said.

The pirates announced yesterday that they have transferred the Danes onto a previously hijacked ship, which is moored off the Somali coast.

A pirate, called Muse Abdi, told the Associated Press that the hostages were safe, but had been moved as a precaution to prevent a possible rescue attempt, such as that which led to the deaths of the Americans.

Another pirate spokesman, Abdullahi Mohamed, said all of the Danes would die if a rescue was attempted.

He added that the captors were discussing how big a ransom to demand with the investors, who back the pirates, angling for a large sum.

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